Hutchinson CC Sports Information
PARK CITY – The final three quarters of Tuesday's Region VI Tournament semifinal against the Independence Pirates was a grind to find any consistent offense.
Shooting only 35 percent over the last three quarters and committing 29 turnovers doomed the Blue Dragons in their regional title defense on Tuesday as the Pirates downed Hutchinson 70-50 in the first women's semifinal at Hartman Arena.
The Blue Dragons fall to 27-6 and will have to wait until Monday to see if they will receive one of the eight at-large bids for the NJCAA Tournament in Lubbock. Independence (26-6) will make its first championship game appearance since 2012.
Tuesday's 20-point margin of loss was the largest since losing by 19 points to Trinity Valley in the 2013 NJCAA Tournament championship game. The loss was also the first 20-point loss since December 2, 2007 when Labette defeated the Blue Dragons 62-36 in the 2007 Jayhawk Shootout.
The loss also snapped Hutchinson's overall 15-game winning streak against Independence, including seventh-straight victories over the Pirates in the Region VI Tournament. The last Independence victory over Hutchinson was in the 2018 Region VI Tournament semifinals, 54-36.
The Blue Dragons led 19-15, going 4 of 4 from 3-point range, after one quarters. That lead was still five points (27-22) with 4:07 to play in the second quarter. Independence went on a 10-2 run to lead 32-28 after a Dakota Corle inside hoop. Kayla Barber hit a 3 just before the halftime buzzer to cut the Indy lead to 32-31 at halftime.
After Dejanae Roebuck scored on Hutch's first possession of the second half to lead 33-32, the Pirates went on a 6-0 run and never gave the lead up.
The Dragons had the lead cut to one point twice in the third quarter – at 38-38 and 43-42 – but trailed 47-42 after three quarters. The Pirates outscored Hutchinson 23-8 in the fourth quarter.
Turnovers were a huge part of the Blue Dragon demise in the semifinals, committing 29 to Indy's 12. The Pirates used that to build a 29-9 advantage in points off turnovers.
Tia Bradshaw tied a season high with three 3-point goals and led the Blue Dragons with 11 points. Dejanae Roebuck had eight points and eight rebounds. Kelsey Brett provided an early spark with a pair of 3-pointers to finish with seven points. Kayla Barber added six points.
The Blue Dragons shot 41.5 percent overall (17 of 41). They were 9 of 21 from 3-point range, hitting 6 of 9 from distance in the first half. The Dragons were 7 of 11 at the free-throw line. Indy out-rebounded the Dragons 32-27, grabbing 14 offensive boards to have a 16-4 advantage in second-chance points.
The Pirates were 28 of 66 shooting (42.4 percent); Indy was 8 of 13 shooting in the decisive fourth quarter. The Pirates shot 6 of 22 overall and 8 of 11 from the free-throw line.
Erica Moore had 16 points to lead Independence. Alek Akuen had 12.
GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are 33-12 al-time against Indy, including 9-6 in the Region VI Tournament. … The Dragons are 60-34 all-time in the Region VI Tournament, 9-6 in semifinal games. … Tuesday's game was Hutchinson's fourth of 25 or more turnovers. The Dragons were 2-2 in those games.